The use of a heuristic process to evaluate an online information retrieval interface.


  • S M Zabed Ahmed
  • Cliff McKnight
  • Charles Oppenhein



heuristic evaluation, Web of Science, usuability issues, user interfaces, online retrieval systems


This paper presents the results of a heuristic evaluation with the Web of Science interface. Three human factors experts carried out their independent evaluation. The findings were then analysed and combined to discuss them with expert members to reach a consensus on usability issues identified. The heuristic evaluation helped to identify a number of both positive and negative aspects in the Web of Science interface. The key strength of the then current interface was its consistency in terms of conventions used, screen layouts, minimum use of colours, and use of graphics and icons.The main weakness lay in its functionality, i.e., searching, navigation, online help, etc. The results show the effectiveness of a heuristlc approach to evaluating user interfaces to online information retrieval systems.

Author Biographies

S M Zabed Ahmed

Department of lnformation Science and Library Management, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Cliff McKnight

Department of lnformation Science, Loughborough, University, Loughborough

Charles Oppenhein

Department of lnformation Science, Loughborough, University, Loughborough




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